First to announce for San Mateo City Council for District 1 is Lisa Diaz Nash. District includes Baywood and Hayward Park. Filing deadline is August but as of this writing she has no opponent. At her campaign opening, well attended by some neighbors and elected officials, you might say she has no viable competition. She hopes to fill the seat currently held by Councilmember Eric Rodriguez, a friend and supporter. In addition to Rodriguez, state Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo; San Mateo Deputy Mayor Diane Papan; Millbrae Councilmember Gina Papan; Foster City Mayor Richa Awasthi; and longtime Democratic activist Mike Aydelott from San Carlos, were present. No one from labor. But with district elections, labor support may not be as important as it was in the past.

However, Ken Chin, San Mateo-Foster City School District trustee, who will be termed or districted out in November, was considering a run. He lives in Baywood, same neighborhood as Nash, and is extremely popular with the parents in the district. He used to work in the city of San Mateo’s Public Works Department where he was highly regarded. He quit his job to be a stay-at-home dad and that allowed time for school board. He was the most frequently photographed endorser on campaign mailers. He says today strangers ask why they recognize him. Luckily for Nash, he has decided not to run but he could change his mind by August.


Gina Papan, also the cities of San Mateo representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, invited me to view development around the BART Caltrain station in Millbrae. An all below-market-rate apartment complex is available to veterans and is adjacent to the station. More offices and housing units are under construction, the offices designed for biotech. Biotech has been moving south from its major presence in South San Francisco and now includes offices in Millbrae and north Burlingame.

Papan pointed out how high-speed rail would join the existing track system. She is certain it is going to happen. That was music to my ears. Especially after a story in The New York Times some months ago which said the future of the high-speed rail plan was in peril. It’s a challenge for me to fly so I look forward to the day — if it comes in my lifetime which it won’t — when I could lean back in my seat, enjoy the scenery and not have to endure the delays on a typical fight between SFO and LAX. When and if high-speed rail comes to the Bay Area and it has a station stop in Millbrae it would make it the most important business stop in San Mateo County and beyond, something not lost on some elected officials in that city.

When I was with Papan she received a call from the lieutenant governor who is family to the Papans. Gina said it was sister Diane who introduced Eleni Kounalakis to her dapper husband.


It was sad to see Jos. A Banks, men’s clothing store in downtown San Mateo, vacant. We were so delighted to see a chain store had finally chosen our downtown. Most go to Hillsdale Shopping Center or Burlingame Avenue. But it’s a tough time for chains trying to survive online shopping and COVID. That’s why the Bohannons are hoping the city and community will agree with their plans to put high-density housing to the southern part of the center across from the Caltrain station and the express stop on its bullet train.


Nicole Fernandez, Becker’s chief of staff, and big name in local Democratic politics called and asked me to report she was also endorsing Belmont Councilmember Charles Stone for supervisor.

It’s a double endorsement as she is also endorsing his opponent Noelia Corzo, San Mateo-Foster City School District trustee. The two will face a runoff in November.


The San Mateo Radio (Ham) Club will be at Beresford Park Picnic Shelter for 24 hours beginning June 25-26. Members of the public can stop by to see what is happening. Most activity will be on Saturday afternoon when members are contacting other amateurs throughout the United States. Amateur Radio Services has grown into a worldwide community of licensed operators.

Sue Lempert is the former mayor of San Mateo. She can be reached at

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(1) comment


"Biotech has been moving south from its major presence in South San Francisco and now includes offices in Millbrae and north Burlingame."

Gilliad and Ilumina in Foster City say Hi. Come on now, it is called the biotech crescent for a reason.

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